There’s a lot of talk about soulmates, with definitions differing slightly from one to the next, but the conventional concept this; that for each of us there is one special person who we are destined to be with.
Your soulmate is your perfect match, your ideal partner, the other half of your soul, the only person who can complete you. And when you meet that person you’ll know because they’ll be so perfectly aligned with you that the relationship will flow effortlessly with undying passion and love.
Many of us are searching for that person, and often with a great deal of frustration and disappointment. And if you wonder that perhaps you might be going about it all wrong, you might be right.
I find it interesting when I hear people say that they’re searching for their soulmate. Because if you believe that the universe has created another soul with whom you are destined to unite with, then wouldn’t you think that the universe would also arrange the meeting? It’s either destiny or it isn’t.
It’s also interesting to note that often when we think we’ve found our soulmate, we tend to find ourselves deeply disappointed and dissatisfied as soon as any conflict arises in the relationship, because we’ve carried this fantasy that with our soulmate everything is supposed to be perfect. That person is supposed to complete us and fulfill our every need. And when that doesn’t happen, we tend to assume that this must wrong person, and we go on searching.
Personally, I don’t believe in soulmates, at least not in the classical sense. That is, I don’t believe that there is one specific person who I’m destined to meet and spend my life with, who is going to make me feel happy and whole. I do believe, however, that we draw certain people into our lives, each of whom offer us the opportunity to learn and grow. And I think we often fail to recognize those opportunities, and so instead of growing, we get stuck in the same unhealthy patterns, and we wind up in the same type of challenging relationship over and over again.
It’s been my observation that we tend to get involved with people who reflect the beliefs and opinions we carry about ourselves.
To give a common example, suppose that you often find yourself with a partner who is abusive, whether emotionally or physically or both. And you may be the type of person who would never cause physical harm to anyone or even speak harshly. You may be very quiet and submissive. You may even be someone who always goes out of their way to try and please the others. So how could it be that someone who is ill-tempered, violent and cruel is a reflection of you?
You might think that you’re not an abusive person, but take a deeper look at your own feelings and beliefs concerning yourself. If you believe that you are unworthy or unlovable, then you’re abusive to yourself. If you don’t love and respect yourself, then the attitude you convey to others is one of worthlessness, and it is going to attract someone who will confirm that attitude, who will be incapable of truly loving and respecting you. You will attract someone who reflects the beliefs you have about yourself; someone who will abuse you in the way that, deep down, you feel you deserve.
And of course, no one is deserving of abuse. But if you believe you are undeserving of love and respect, then even if you meet someone who genuinely loves and respects you, you won’t accept it. You’ll reject that person or find some way to sabotage that relationship, and eventually end up with someone who better reflects the belief that you’re unworthy of genuine love and respect.
The reality is that whoever we allow into our lives is perfectly matched to us according to our beliefs and attitude at the time. And this isn’t to say that we are meant to be with that person forever. Often when we think of something as being ‘meant to be’ we assume that means forever. But maybe somethings are meant to last only a short time, in order to teach us something. And maybe ‘forever’; is not in regard to the situation, but what we gain from the situation.
Relationships serve to teach us many valuable lessons, and these lessons offer us so much opportunity to personal grow. The lesson may be about learning to value ourselves. It may be about learning to be more independent, letting go of attachments and expectations. It may be about learning to be more compassionate or more patient. The lessons are different for each of us depending on where we are on our individual journey. And once the lessons are learned, we may no longer have need for that person to remain in our lives.
When we imagine our soulmate, we imagine someone who is perfect, according to whatever our idea of perfection is. We like to imagine our ideal partner, but we have to consider whether our own lifestyle and mentality are in alignment with that ideal. If it’s not, then how can we expect to have a relationship with such a person?
Often, that ideal is actually the ideal we would like for ourselves, and we have a tendency to desire a partner who fulfills those ideals for us so that we don’t have to do the inner work, so that we can live vicariously through them. The problem, as I’ve already explained, is that we won’t be able to draw that kind of person into our lives and keep them there unless we’re a match.
It’s interesting to observe how so many people hold such high standards toward prospective partners, which they themselves do not live up to, and yet they’re confounded by the fact that they always wind up with someone less than ideal, or end up alone.
I think we really need to re-examine those standards in relation to ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have standards. We certainly should. However, we shouldn’t require anyone to meet any standard which we cannot not meet for them in return.
For example, we might desire a partner who is wealthy, even though we’re poor. In fact, it’s often because we’re poor that we desire someone who’s wealthy. But if we measure our prospective partners by this standard, turning away those who don’t measure up, we’re being, not only unfair, but hypocritical. And in addition, we’re failing to learn whatever lesson those people may be offering us. We’re failing to improve upon our own lives, but cultivating the qualities and attributes we’re looking for in others.
Because when you’re seeking a partner who is wealthy, and that’s the thing that’s gonna make or brake the deal, it’s really the wealth that you’re seeking. You just want someone else to provide it for you. Either you think you’re incapable of acquiring it yourself, or you’re lazy. And we do the same thing with love and respect and all those things. We seek those in others because we feel a sense of deficiency in ourselves.
But even if you meet someone who’s wealthy, it’s always going to be their wealth. They might share it with you. But you’ll have none of your own. That is, you’ll always be dependent upon them. And again, if you depend upon someone to give you love, you’ll never truly possess that love. You’ll always be dependent. Because you don’t have your own source. You have to rely on someone else.
So how can you create your own wealth? How can you cultivate your own love and respect and a feeling of worthiness? How can you fulfill your own needs, so that you don’t have to depend on someone? So when you do meet someone who has all those qualities, it will be an equal exchange, because you can offer all of that in return.
Many people who subscribe to the belief in soulmates never find one because they’re searching for perfection while lacking that perfection in themselves. Personally, I don’t believe there is any such thing as a perfect person. I have, like anyone else, imagined what the ideal partner might be like, but I can’t help thinking about how ill-suited I might be for them. While I don’t believe that there is any one perfect person out there for me or anyone else, once again, I do believe that we are perfectly matched with those who reflect our own beliefs and attitudes about ourselves.
And those partnerships may be short lived or life-long depending upon the lessons involved and according to the way our attitudes shift and evolve in relation to one another. I don’t believe, however that there is one special person meant solely for every other person, or that we are incomplete until will find such a person. I believe that the expression of love and relating is infinite, and that, in the greater cosmic scheme of things we’re all a connected to one another at the level of spirit or consciousness. And so, we may connect with any number of people throughout a lifetime, for various lengths of time, and in various different ways.
I believe that ultimately what we’re searching for in others we’re actually searching for in ourselves, and that our relationship to others is often meant to awaken those aspects within us.
I believe that the ultimate lesson for all of us, in regard to relationships, is learning to love more fully and more deeply ourselves. And until we can do that, we’ll never be able to fully love another.